Prescription Errors

What is it?
Prescription errors are mistakes in the dispensing of medications, caused by either carelessness or negligence. Upwards of 400,000 people are affected by prescription errors each year, and as many as 7,000 lose their lives. These errors can be the fault of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, nursing homes, even mail-order drug dispensaries.


The consequences of prescription errors can be significant especially in children, where accurate dosage is critical. These include:

  • Allergic reaction, sometimes resulting in severe anaphylactic shock
  • Dangerous increase or decrease in blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Gastro-intestinal bleeding

What causes it?
It is the duty of your caregivers to prescribe and administer your prescriptions safely. Mistakes can occur in the doctor’s office if your doctor prescribes a dosage that is too high for your height and weight, or if they fail to take into account drug allergies or other drugs you are taking that may interact adversely with the prescribed medication.

Illegible handwriting seems cliché, but it can lead to serious consequences if the pharmacist misinterprets the drug or dosage and fails to verify it with the doctor. Pharmacists can also mix up orders between patients, give you the wrong dosage of a particular drug, or confuse pills whose generic and brand-name forms may look different, or which may have changed in size or shape.

Mistakes happen, but it is the legal responsibility of doctors, pharmacists, caregivers, and the facilities in which they work to have adequate safeguards in place to catch errors before they reach the patient.

At Jacobs & Goodman:

  • You always get an attorney, never a case manager like at other firms.
  • We take a personal interest in your case, and help you through every aspect, including helping you deal with medical leins and debts.
  • We work on a contingency basis, which means if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay.

If you think you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice due to delayed treatment or failure to diagnose, contact us to schedule a free consultation.